Richard Mourdock, Republican Senate candidate in Indiana, said Tuesday night that pregnancies caused by rape are a gift from God.

He has since clarified that he does not mean that the rape was a gift from God, just the baby that results.

That clarification misses the point. An unwanted child conceived during a rape can be a horrific burden on a woman: emotional, financial, professional, social. To tell a woman who has gone through that kind of trauma that she should be grateful for her gift is callous.

It belongs to the same line of thinking (which we know from Republican candidate Todd Akin) that if a woman really didn’t want to be raped, she wouldn’t conceive in the first place.

These men also belong to a party that wants to cut all social benefits that might help a woman in that wrenching position. No doubt once she was impoverished by her “gift,” she would count as one of the 47 percent who will never take personal responsibility for their lives.

These are dangerous, cruel, and archaic positions and have no place in a modern democracy. If Mitt Romney wins the election, he will be beholden to people with these positions. That is a terrifying image indeed.

Lydia Moland

Waterville